The Charlotte Motor Speedway road course will host a Playoff race as NASCAR makes several changes to the Cup Series calendar for 2018.
The switch from the venue’s 1.5mi oval makes it the first road course to host a Playoff race since the format was introduced in 2004.
Charlotte is not the only change to the Playoffs, which will now begin with a second race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Richmond International Speedway’s second race has been moved back to slot between Charlotte and Las Vegas in the first, three-race round of the play-offs.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway race replaces Richmond as the final race of the regular season (Round 26).
“I think a lot of it had to do with what we’ve heard from the fans over a period of time,” said NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Jim Cassidy on NASCAR.com.
“As the playoffs have continued to evolve and we’ve incorporated elimination into the playoffs, we’ve heard from our fans that they like to see some different variety in the places that we go during the playoffs.
“Most notably, the road course at Charlotte and the addition of the short track at Richmond are a couple of opportunities that presented themselves during the course of a lot of conversations with a lot of folks in the industry, and we were able to land in a good place.”
The Daytona 500 is the other significant change, returning to the President’s Day weekend on February 18.
Furthermore, qualifying for the Daytona 500 and the Clash at Daytona will now both be held on February 11.
Calendar: 2018 NASCAR Cup Series
|Feb 11||Daytona International Speedway||Clash, Daytona 500 Qualifying|
|Feb 15||Daytona International Speedway||Duel|
|1||Feb 18||Daytona 500|
|2||Feb 25||Atlanta Motor Speedway|
|3||Mar 4||Las Vegas Motor Speedway|
|4||Mar 11||Phoenix International Raceway|
|5||Mar 18||Auto Club Speedway|
|6||Mar 25||Martinsville Speedway|
|7||Apr 8||Texas Motor Speedway|
|8||Apr 15||Bristol Motor Speedway|
|9||Apr 21||Richmond International Raceway|
|10||Apr 29||Talladega Superspeedway|
|11||May 6||Dover International Speedway|
|12||May 12||Kansas Speedway|
|May 19||Charlotte Motor Speedway||All-Star Race|
|13||May 27||Charlotte Motor Speedway|
|14||Jun 3||Pocono Raceway|
|15||Jun 10||Michigan International Speedway|
|16||Jun 24||Sonoma Raceway|
|17||Jul 1||Chicagoland Speedway|
|18||Jul 7||Daytona International Speedway|
|19||Jul 14||Kentucky Speedway|
|20||Jul 22||New Hampshire Motor Speedway|
|21||Jul 29||Pocono Raceway|
|22||Aug 5||Watkins Glen International|
|23||Aug 12||Michigan International Speedway|
|24||Aug 18||Bristol Motor Speedway|
|25||Sep 2||Darlington Raceway|
|26||Sep 9||Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|27||Sep 16||Las Vegas Motor Speedway||Playoff Round of 16|
|28||Sep 22||Richmond International Raceway||Playoff Round of 16|
|29||Sep 30||Charlotte Motor Speedway||Playoff Round of 16, Road course|
|30||Oct 7||Dover International Speedway||Playoff Round of 12|
|31||Oct 14||Talladega Superspeedway||Playoff Round of 12|
|32||Oct 21||Kansas Speedway||Playoff Round of 12|
|33||Oct 28||Martinsville Speedway||Playoff Round of 8|
|34||Nov 4||Texas Motor Speedway||Playoff Round of 8|
|35||Nov 11||Phoenix International Raceway||Playoff Round of 8|
|36||Nov 18||Homestead-Miami Speedway||Playoff Final|